PJSA 2020 (virtual) Conference Schedule

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All sessions will be streaming online, free to members and students, and open to the general public on a sliding scale.

Missed A Session? Check Out the Recordings Here! 

(Make sure to login as a member first! Not a Member?)

Interesting in being a co-sponsor of these 3-months of programing? Want to promote your program, publication, or center? Get it touch today! info@peacejusticestudies.org


Saturday 12 September 2020    

12-1:30 PM Pacific | 3:00-4:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Jeremy Rinker

Opening Keynote: David Hooker, University of Notre Dame

“Can (Restorative) Justice transform historical harms or dismantle present day systematic (syndemic) oppressions?”

There is an ongoing and long standing debate as to the capacity of restorative justice either philosophically or as a practical matter to effectively address issues of historical harms and present structural racism. There are those who seek to affirm and attest to ways in which restorative justice can indeed address structural racism. Others argue that transformative and some say transitional justice is what is needed to address the inadequacies of restorative justice. I will use the case of widespread torture of Black and brown bodied people at the hands of the Chicago Police Department in the 1970’s, 80’s, and early 90’s, the subsequent passage of a reparations ordinance in 2015 and the current approach to redress being pursued by the Chicago Torture Justice Center to explore these questions.

Tuesday 15 September  2020 

11:00 AM-12:30 Pacific | 2:00-3:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Joy Meeker

Panel: “Repairing the Rift from Inside the Shift: An analysis and dialogue about transforming police agencies into anti-racist, fair, and impartial community servants.”

  • Tabitha Moore (Member of the Impartial Police Training Committee and Saybrook University) 
  • Dr. Etan Nasredding-Longo (Marlborough College)
  • Major Ingrid Jonas (Vermont State Police)
  • Captain Gary Scott (Captain of Fair and Impartial Policing)

This session will also be joined live by undergraduate classes at Georgetown University, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Saybrook University, and Swarthmore College.

Wednesday 16 September  2020

10:00-11:30 AM Pacific | 1:00-2:30 PM Eastern 

Facilitated by Joy Meeker

Panel: “Restorative Justice: The Power of Transformation”

  • Cassandra Butler (Saybrook University)
  • Gayle Humphrey (Saybrook University)
  • Janice Jerome (Saybrook University) 

This session will be joined live by the Transformative Social Change Seminar at Saybrook University.

Saturday 19 Sept  2020 

12:00-1:30 PM Pacific | 3:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by: Amanda Smith Byron

Panel: “Vulnerabilities of Somebodiness in Restorative Justice Theory”

  • Greg Moses (Texas State University)
  • Sanjay Lal (Clayton State University)
  • Anthony Neal (Mississippi State University)

Monday 21 September  2020

3:00-5:00 PM Pacific | 6:00-8:00 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Matt Meyer (Secretary-General, IPRA), Polly Walker (PJSA liaison to IPRA), and Marcela Agudelo (Colombia, CLAIP)

Featured Panel: “The Roots of Our Resistance: Indigenous Peacemaking and the Current Crisis”

International Day of Peace Joint Web Event of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) and PJSA

  • Kelli Te Maihāroa (Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association)
  • Matt Mogekwu (Africa Peace Research and Education Association)
  • Jim Fenelon (Center for Indigenous Peoples Studies, CSUSB & the Latin American Council for Peace Research)
  • Adriana Anacona Munoz (Latin American Council on Peace Research)
  • Including a special presentation from:
    • PJSA 2019 Next Generation Peacemaker Awardee Sarah Fontaine-Sinclair and,
    • PJSA 2019 Peace Educator Awardee Niigaanwewidem James Sinclair (Anishinaabe/Cree/Ojibwe)

Wednesday 23 September  2020  

3:00-5:00 PM Pacific | 6:00-8:00 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Joy Meeker & Jeremy Rinker

This session will feature two groups co-facilitating an interactive discussion on restorative justice, Covid, and going online with your program.

Discussion Part 1: “Dilemmas of Restorative and Transformative Practices Online”

  • Amanda Smith Byron (Portland State University)
  • Joy Meeker (Saybrook University)
  • Jill Sternburg (Creative Response to Conflict, Restorative Justice Initiative NY)

Discussion Part 2: “Restorative Circles as a Proactive Institutional Conflict Measure”

  • Michael Hemphill (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
  • Omari Dyson (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
  • Jeremy Rinker (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
  • Yougsun Lee (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)

Thursday 24 Sept 2020

1:00-3:00 PM Pacific | 4:00-6:00 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Jeremy Rinker

Panel: “Restorative Justice in indigenous, educational & traditional contexts”

  • “Reducing Violence in Schools and Communities – Where Do We Start and How Do We Fix It?” Antoinette Dunstanand, Monica Seeley, and Cindy Morton (Peace Peddlers)
  • “Conflict Resolution Education: an Ingredient of Restorative Justice” Ellen Kyes (University of Notre Dame)
  • “Guiding student-teacher conflict transformation: student perspective” Gražina Čiuladienė (Mykolas Romeris University)

Saturday 26 September 2020 

10-11:30 AM Pacific | 1:00-2:30 PM Eastern 

Facilitated by Jeremy Rinker

Panel: “Participatory Action Research with the Restorative Roots Collaborative” 

  • Rochelle Arms Almengor (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY)
  • William M. Evans (Neighborhood Benches) 
  • Nicole Lavonne Smith (independent RJ practitioner)

Tuesday 29 September  2020

5:00-6:30 PM Pacific |  8:00 – 9:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Pushpa Iyer

Closing Keynote: Ericka Huggins,

Freedom On the Inside”

One way to restore justice is in a protective and brave circle of human beings. The circle often includes those harmed and those responsible and accountable for harm. This circle is self regulating and is supported by those who are the non-jugging supporters of restorative practice. 

These are indigenous practices of North and South American tribal peoples, of the peoples of Africa, and Asia. Reflecting on and sharing responsibility, accountability, and the possibility of forgiveness are positive alternates to punishment and its ensuing multi-generational trauma. Stories heal. I will tell stories of Restorative Justice dialogues, in my life, in community work, in prisons, and in schools. I will speak about healing as the main benefit of restorative practice, one that has positive multi-generational impact.


Thursday, October 1 

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30pm Eastern

Facilitated by Michelle Collins-Sibley

Opening Keynote: Philip Metres, John Carroll University

“Shrapnel Maps: Stories Seeking Peace & Justice in Israel-Palestine” 

For nearly twenty years, Philip Metres has been actively engaged in the quest for a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis–as an activist, peacemaker, scholar, teacher, and writer. His fourth book of poems, Shrapnel Maps, writes into the wounds of the Israel-Palestine conflict, raising the voices of Palestinians and Israelis as they confront the predicament of injustice and violence, of empire and resistance. Metres will read from the work and reflect on how storytelling and poetry can offer other ways of engaging seeking justice and peace, through the transformational work of the moral imagination. For more information.

Friday, October 2 

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Alison Castel

Panel: “Telling Other Peoples’ Stories: Navigating Narrative Responsibility” 

  • Michael English (University of Colorado-Boulder)
  • Lisa McLean (George Mason University)
  • Alison Castel (Regis University)

Saturday, October 3 

1:00-2:30 PM Pacific | 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Amanda Smith Byron

Panel:  “Evolving Narratives: Expanding Imagination and Mobilizing Voices for Change” 

  • Amanda Smith Byron (Portland State University)
  • Roberta Hunte (Portland State University)
  • Sally Eck (Portland State University)

Thursday, October 15 

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Wim Laven

Keynote: Dr. Sol Neely, Heritage University

“The Trail Where They Cried: Historical Violence, Memory, and Repair Across Generations”

During the fall of 2019, Dr. Sol Neely, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, traveled the Trail of Tears with his father and daughter, meditating on historical violence, transgenerational perseverance, memory, and repair. 

Friday, October 16 

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Michael Loadenthal

Panel: “Narrative & Storytelling: From Environmental Loss to Resistance

  • “Visually communicating climate change”, Lea Rekow (Florida Gulf Coast University)
  • “Grief, Grit, and Gratitude: Finding resilience in the face of climate change”, Jan Inglis (facilitator and educator)
  • “Dams, Boundaries and the Rising Spirit of Reciprocity”, Eileen Delehanty Pearkes (author and river advocate)
  • Environmental Resistance in the World of Infrastructural Brutalism”, Michael Truscello (Mount Royal University)
  • “Border Walls and Bridging Work: Cultivating resilience in spaces of control”, Randall Amster (Georgetown University)

Saturday, October 17, 2020 

1:00-2:30 PM Pacific | 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Pushpa Iyer

Panel:  “Mythologies of Forgiveness” 

  • Michelle Collins-Sibley (University of Mount Union)
  • Pushpa Iyer (Middlebury Institute of International Studies)
  • Wim Laven (Cuyahoga Community College) 

Thursday, October 29 | 4-5:30 PM Pacific | 7-8:30 PM Eastern Facilitated by Wim Laven

Keynote:  Jamil Al Wekhian, Kent State University

“Understanding Fringe-Right Terrorism–a survivor’s perspective”

In the summer of 2019 Dr. Jamil Al Wekhian was enjoying a family outing when they were targeted in an episode of domestic terrorism. On the evening of Sunday July 28, they were targeted with profane slurs disparaging their skin color, openly mocked for how they were believed to pray, and threatened—“I will bury you all in the river.” A 357 magnum was retrieved, pointed in their direction, and fired over their heads by a man who wanted to scare the family into leaving. This presentation covers the experience of domestic terrorism in the US, the process of healing, the hope for peace and justice in the future, and the scars that remain

Friday, October 30 

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Michelle Collins-Sibley

Panel: “Symbols and Structures: Stories that Move” 

Our panel presentation will involve a group of educators who engaged last winter with the Resist Violence pedagogy, an interdisciplinary approach that brings art, storytelling and the work of social change into the classroom. The presentation will take the form of a performance art piece, whereby panelists will weave together stories of their own experiences with violence in its multiple forms, insights on the difficulties of creating classrooms where constructive conversations happen, and lessons learned from the theory and history of nonviolent practice. Those who attend this session will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session following the performance and gain some direct experience of the pedagogy and its transformative potential.

  • Pat Romano (Dawson College)
  • Alison Loader (Dawson College)
  • Anick Legault (Dawson College)
  • Mark Beauchamp (Dawson College)
  • Susan Elmslie (Dawson College)

Saturday, October 31 

1:00-2:30 PM Pacific | 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Michelle Collins-Sibley

Panel: “Storytelling, Scholarship & Activism”

  • “Narrative Analysis, Diaspora and Scholar Activism,” Christopher P. Davey (independent scholar)
  • “The Confidence Tale and Plotting Nonviolent Fiction,” Gabriel Ertsgaard (independent scholar)
  •  “Storytelling for Social Change at Cincinnati’s Harriet Beecher Stowe House,” John Getz (Xavier University/Harriet Beecher Stowe House)


Tuesday, November 10th

11:00-12:30 PM Pacific | 2:00-3:30 PM Eastern 

Facilitated by Michael Loadenthal

Discussion:Polarization in a Time of Misinformation and Political Strife: water, climate, and radical eco-social change”

  • Lea Rekow (Florida Gulf Coast University)
  • Zoe Roller (US Water Alliance)
  • Michael Loadenthal (PJSA/Georgetown University)

Thursday, November 12th

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Wim Laven

Keynote: Dave Ragland, The Truth Telling Project

“Truth-Telling in a Time of Polarization”

Followed by Q&A with Dave Ragland and Wim Laven

Friday November 13th

11:00-12:30 PM Pacific | 2:00-3:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Alison Castel and Amanda Byron

Workshop: “Restorative Circle Process: Polarization and the Election”

  • Alison Castel (Regis University)
  • Amanda Byron (Portland State University)

Friday November 13th

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Wim Laven

Workshop: “Understanding Trauma and Trauma Healing Tools for Conflict Resolvers”

  • Rachel Goldberg (Depauw University)

Saturday, November 14th

11:00-12:30 PM Pacific | 2:00-3:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Wim Laven

Panel: “Polarization in Liberal Democratic Societies: Ideology, Mechanisms, and Alternative Forms of Resistance”

  • Jeffery Warnke (Walsh University)
  • Dale Snauwaert (University of Toledo)
  • Janet Gerson (International Institute on Peace Education)

Saturday, November 14th

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Amanda Smith Byron

Panel: Security and Conflict in a Polarized Climate”

  • “Sum-Dynamics Theory as a Generalizable Theory of Conflict,” Jameson Lingl (California State University Dominguez Hills)
  • “Ideology, Crisis and Division: Shadows of Neo-transdialectic in Modern Political Discourse,” Chris Smithmyer

Monday, November 16th

4:00-5:00 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:00 PM Eastern

Workshop: “The Value of E-Mediation in High Conflict Disputes,” (Facilitated by Alison Castel)

  • Christy L. Foley (E-Mediation Services)

Tuesday, November 17th

11-12:30 PM Pacific | 2:00-3:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Joy Meeker and Amanda Smith Byron

Panel: Inequities Exposed: Addressing Systemic Injustice in Our Local Communities”

  • Nancy Pearson
  • PC Walker
  • Shayla Betts (Saybrook University)

Tuesday, November 17th

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Pushpa Iyer

Workshop: “Listening Lab: Practical Skills to Listen Even When It’s Hard”

Wednesday, November 18th

11:00-12:30 PM Pacific | 2:00-3:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Joy Meeker

Panel: “COVID-19, Authoritarianism and Racism: A Collision of Factors Threatening Humanity”

  • Joel Federman (Saybrook University)
  • Theopia Jackson (Saybrook University)

Friday, November 20th

11:00-12:30 PM Pacific | 2:00-3:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Jeremy Rinker

Panel: “Reframing for More Constructive Outcomes”

  • “Reframing Reality for the Coronavirus, Job Loss & Needed Racial Justice Age: Implications for Peace Studies and Different Aspects of Peace,” Linda Groff (California State University)
  • “Stigma as a Type of Violence,” Aniuska Luna (Citrus Health Network)

Friday, November 20th | 1:00-2:00 PM Pacific | 4:00-5:00 PM Eastern

Storytelling Session with Louise Omoto Kessel:

“Storytelling! Grumpy old women, turtles, frogs, locusts, and other unlikely heroes”

Join storyteller Louise Omoto Kessel for a live storytelling performance that will be enjoyed by adults and young people alike. Louise will offer traditional and contemporary stories selected to encourage us on our path of working for peace and justice. Grumpy old women, turtles, frogs, locusts, and other unlikely heroes model for us how to keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep it positive, keep the faith, and join together to be heard! (Facilitated by Swasti Bhattacharyya)

Speaker Biography: Louise lives in North Carolina and has been telling stories professionally since 1981. She comes from a multi-cultural family – she is Japanese-Buddhist on her mother’s side, Russian-Jewish on her father’s side and the mother of two African American teenagers. She has been the storyteller in residence for a number of projects focused on community members learning and sharing stories from the cultural and faith heritages, including The Five Faiths Project at the Ackland Art Museum of UNC-Chapel HIll and The Silk Road Project of the Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler Galleries. Louise is the founder of a river project called the Haw River Learning Celebration and the founder and artistic director of Clapping Hands Farm, an arts and nature camp with a no one turned away scholarship program.

Friday, November 20th

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern

PJSA Annual Student Awards Ceremony & Membership Meeting

Student Awards Ceremony (4:00-5:00 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:00 PM Eastern)

Facilitated by Sheherazade Jafari

  • Introduction to award winner: Sa’ed Atshan (Swarthmore College)
  • Undergraduate Student Award Winner: Lucy Jones (Swarthmore College), “Resistance, Resilience and Survival: Central American Refugee Women Across the U.S.-Mexico Border”
  • Undergraduate Student Award Winner: Vanessa Meng (Swarthmore College), “The Middle Kingdom’s Dream: Understanding and Reframing China-Africa Relations”
  • Introduction to award winner: Stellan Vinthagen (University of Massachusetts)
  • Graduate Student Award Winner: Carol Daniel Kasbari (George Mason University), “Palestinian Everyday Resistance: A Study of the Tactics of Sumud and their Effects on Israeli Power in the Occupied Territories”

Membership Meeting (5:00-6:00 PM Pacific | 8:00-9:00 PM Eastern)

Facilitated by Laura Finley, and Jennie Barron

  • Members are encouraged to join an open forum where members of the Board of Directors of PJSA will present on their association work and discuss topics including:
    • Assessing the 2020 digital conference (conference committee)
    • Plans for 2021 conference (Lynne Woehrle)
    • PJSA’s two new association journals, JRS & JTPP 
    • The newly design Peace Chronicle (Wim Laven)
    • Listserv migration report/update (Dean Johnson)
    • Mini-grants info (Nicole Johnson)

Saturday, November 21st

11:00-12:30 PM Pacific | 2:00-3:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Amanda Smith Byron

Panel: “Constructive Stories in Response to Polarization”

  • Chip Hauss (Alliance for Peacebuilding)
  • Abby Rapoport (Stranger’s Guide)
  • Kate Mytty (Build Peace)
  • Toni Farris (George Mason University)
  • Tim Ries (Touring saxophonist, The Rolling Stones)

Saturday, November 21st

4:00-5:30 PM Pacific | 7:00-8:30 PM Eastern

Facilitated by Alison Castel

Closing Keynote: Brandon Brown,Many Sides of Silence: Polarized Narratives as Blockades to Justice and Healing”

“You have the right to remain silent,” a statement, made to thousands of people placed under arrest every day in the United States, signifies the beginning of a process where diametrically opposed narratives will, more than likely, take hold.  On the one hand, silence is meant to protect the possible offender yet can have deafening consequences for a victim who seeks to make sense of a harm they endured.  On the other hand, silence can be a mechanism of oppression and dehumanization for people in prison, those reintegrating back into society, or those in various marginalized communities.  Drawing on my experience of being incarcerated for over a decade, alongside the privilege of conducting ethnographic research inside of a maximum-security prison, I will share my findings of the various ways that silence polarizes narratives to the detriment of justice, and offer the “violence of silence” as an overarching symptom of the conflict of mass incarceration in the U.S. 

Frequently Asked Questions for the 2020 conference:

  • Can I invite my class to the sessions?
    • YES! Please do bring us into your classroom to engage with students. We would love it if the host/teacher was a member (or joined with a month-long ticket) but we aim to be a resource to educators!
  • Are these being recorded for classroom use? How do I access these videos if I do not see them live?
    • All recordings will be made accessible to PJSA members after logging into the website, though we expect a short delay up to 24 hours between the sessions occurring and them being available online. To join as a member, or renew your membership. 

2020 conference sponsor:

The Baker Institute for Peace & Conflict Studies at Juniata College